Science past: 50 years ago: from Science News letter, August 16, 1958.
WATERBIRDS DISPOSSESSED--Marshes, swamps and wetlands throughout
the United States are on their way out. Going with them are hundreds of
our waterbirds. Ducks, geese, herons, grebes, coots and many other birds
that depend on wetlands for nesting, shelter and food are being
dispossessed. As water and land are being taken over for farming,
industrial development or to give expanding cities room, whole
populations of waterbirds are disappearing, many going north and south
of the border. Three scientists, studying a small marsh in Utah, have
been able to measure the direct effects of lost wetlands on waterbird
populations. Of 17 species found nesting or living in the marsh in 1950,
six did not nest there at all in 1955; four species were still around
but had two-thirds fewer nests, while nests of the other species were
also present in reduced numbers.